Comprehensive Exam

We’re ready to help you ace the Comprehensive Exam. Look below to find the registration application, details about the exam’s format, and a copy of our most recent study guide.

Note: Comprehensive exam is not available for students admitted in Fall 2021 or later. The last comprehensive exam will be offered in Fall 2022. After Fall 2022, all students, regardless of admission year, must take the project or thesis options.

Exam Date

To be announced.

General Information

  • The department holds the exam during the mid/late semester. We will announce the specific time and place as soon as we know more about it.

  • To be eligible to take the exam, you must be a graduate student in Classified and Good Standing status. You must also complete at least 21 units (including transferred courses) at the end of the semester you take the exam.

  • The exam will be closed-book.

  • The use of a calculator will be allowed during the exam.

  • Passing score is 70%.

  • If you fail the exam, you can retake it the following semester.

  • The exam will be given twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Spring.

Note: You must register to take the Comprehensive Exam at least two weeks before the exam date.

Register for the Graduate Comprehensive Exam


Exam Format

You will receive a 1.5-hour closed-book exam and will be required to answer three of the available questions.

When you register for the Comprehensive Exam, you will be asked to select 3 problems that you will do.  Below is the list of problems available for you to select:

EE 209, EE 220, EE 222, EE 223, EE 224, EE 230, EE 231, EE 238, EE 251, EE 252, EE 253, EE 257, EE 258, EE 271, EE 272, EE 273, EE 275, EE 278, EE 281, EE 283, EE 286, EE 287, EE 288.

Download the MSEE-Comprehensive Exam Study Guide [pdf] (Updated March 2020)